Over the past decade Argentina has evolved from a country not well known on the global wine scene to the New World’s fastest growing exporter of wines. The leading grape in Argentina in terms of reputation and quantity is Malbec, a Bordeaux variety imported to Argentina from France in the mid 19th century. Other red varieties produced in Argentina include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bonarda (known as Charbono in its native Italy), Syrah, Tempranillo and Pinot Noir. Among white wines, the Argentinian wine region’s signature grape is Torrontés, which yields a floral, tropical-tasting wine. The country also produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
There are seven denominated Argentinian wine regions: Mendoza, Salta, Neuquén, Río Negro, Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan. Among these, Mendoza is the leader in terms of quantity and quality, with roughly 80% of the nation’s wine production centered in this desert region located almost directly across the Andes Mountains from Santiago, Chile, and about 650 miles due west of Buenos Aires. Neuquén and Río Negro, meanwhile, are in southerly Patagonia, while Salta is in the north of the country, near the border with Bolivia (Torrontés is a specialty in Salta); Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan are lesser known regions that mostly satisfy the domestic market.
Wine Enthusiast’s Buying Guide features thousands of Argentine wine ratings from all over the country. Conduct a quick and easy search to find ratings from your favorite producers to access the Argentinian wine guide.
If the color doesn’t tell the full story, the nose will: it’s impeccably perfumed, round and sweet, with amazing fruit aromas and a toasty background. The feel is as lush and rich as they come, and there’s outstanding purity to the lusty black fruit flavors. A masher with elegance. Maybe the best Malbec Argentina has ever produced. Drink from 2011–15.— M.S. (7/1/2010)
This wine takes you on a trip to an outer wine world where deep, cushioned berry aromas come with exotic perfumes, bath oils and crushed flower petals. It’s ultrasaturated and jammy, but not clunky or heavy. This tastes like a storm of blackberry, espresso and Swiss chocolate, while black spices and length bring up the rear. A blend of 50% Malbec, 40% Cabernet…— M.S. (8/1/2012)
This blend from the Nicasia and Adrianna vineyards is the best Malbec on the market today. There’s raisin, mineral, licorice, blackberry and more. The mouth is like a Mack truck on ice skates, meaning it’s both huge and elegant. And the mile-long finish of coffee, mocha and molten black fruit is awesome. Drink now through 2013.— M.S. (8/1/2009)
Features intoxicating pastry, blueberry, cola and coffee aromas in front of a minerally, terroir-packed palate of soft black fruit, chocolate, fine herbs and other character-aiding touches. The mouthfeel is fabulous and the finish of Swiss chocolate and integrated spice is as smooth as silk. Drink now through 2011.— M.S. (8/1/2009)
This is a real blaster of a Malbec, showing power, concentration and subtleties. The bouquet is full of graham cracker, cola, monster berry and moss notes, while the pure, driving palate deals flavors of toasty blackberry, spice, mocha and more. The lengthy but mellow finish hums like a fine-tuned machine. Drink now–2018.— M.S. (10/1/2012)
A year after the 2009 version of Gran Corte was named WE’s Wine of the Year, this is every bit as good, with more structure and tannins than the ultrarich ’09. This 50-50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec is dense, with marzipan and blackberry aromas. It’s just creamy enough on the palate, where intense blackberry, black currant, toast and spice flavors hold…— M.S. (8/1/2013)
A wine that makes you take notice. The bouquet is intense, with minerality, char, huge black-fruit aromas and handsome shadings of chocolate and coffee. Power and purity come on like gangbusters, and the flavors are a classic mix of blackberry, cassis and fine Swiss chocolate. Heady, smooth and impressive. My highest rated wine yet from Carlos Pulenta’s Vistalba…— M.S. (12/31/2010)
Probably the best value in high-end Malbec from Argentina is Trapiche’s single-vineyard series, which in 2006 was led by this bottling from an Uco Valley vineyard. It’s lush, perfectly ripe and full of cola, black fruit and intensity. There’s nary a chink in its fiber, and the rush of fruit that hits the palate followed by layers of subtleties is impressive. Great…— M.S. (7/1/2010)